February Offerings – Part III: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Rebecca Guay

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of painter Rebecca Guay: “In her personal watercolors and oils—her self determined narratives—she delves deep into archetypes of masculine and feminine and deals with complex ideas of sexuality and sensuality. Her philosophy of image making is driven by the principles of creating a remarkable moment, thereby making a deep emotional connection with the viewer. Rebecca’s recent work creates an environment of lush surfaces, forms and gesture that live in a reality entirely of her own creation.”
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“Anyone who marries three girls from St. Louis hasn’t learned much.” – Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet, playwright, and author of “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” who was born 3 February 1874, sniping at Ernest Hemingway.

Some quotes from the work of Gertrude Stein:

“If you can’t say anything nice about anyone else, come sit next to me.”
“We are always the same age inside.”
“For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts.”
“If you are too careful, you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.”
“A very important thing is not to make up your mind that you are any one thing.”
“You are so afraid of losing your moral sense that you are not willing to take it through anything more dangerous than a mud-puddle.”
“If you knew it all it would not be creation but dictation.”
“Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.”
“America is my country, and Paris is my home town.”
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British Art – Part I of II: Felix Kelly

Born 3 February 1914 – Felix Kelly, New Zealand-born British artist. According to one art historian, “Kelly’s most characteristic pictures are views of country houses that often have an enigmatic, slightly Surrealistic air.”

Below (left to right) – “Path to the River Steamer”; “Pink House on a Hill”;
“The Vision”; “A Marine Fantasy”; “A Capriccio of Benthall Hall and the Iron Bridge, Ironbridge Gorge “; “View of Lindridge, Devon.”
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Miss Jean Russell-Smith; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Palestrina

Born 3 February 1525 – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, an Italian Renaissance composer of remarkably ethereal religious music.

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3 February 1931 – The Arkansas legislature passes a motion to pray for the soul of American journalist, essayist, satirist, social critic, and scholar H. L. Mencken after he had called the state the “apex of moronia.”

Below – The man with an imperiled soul.
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British Art – Part II of II: Gillian Ayres

Born 3 February 1930 – Gillian Ayres, an English painter.

Below (left to right) – “Antony and Cleopatra”; “Shiraz”; “A Midsummer Night”; “Aeolus”; “Helios”; “Rombuck.”
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(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: The Day the Music Died

3 February 1959 – An airplane carrying J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens crashes near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing everyone on board.

Below – Investigators at the site of the crash.

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A Poem for Today

“The Collection,”
By Michael Chitwood

Even two years later, she still gets correspondence
addressed to him. Correspondence. This like that.

Mostly about his hobby. Coin collector brochures.
Announcements of collector swap meets. His pastime.

A way to spend an afternoon back when an afternoon
needed spending. Before all the silence flooded the house.

He had old currency. Nickels worth ten dollars.
And heavy, the bags. Musical, too.

She needs to sort through them all.
That’s what she should do, realize its value.

But what she is thinking of is spending it,
buying gum and soft drinks, maybe a chocolate bar.

Just get face value for mint-condition rarities.
Get them back into circulation. Circulation. The afterlife

where someone else could get them as change
and be joyful at the luck of finding his life’s pleasure.
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American Art – Part II of IV: Norman Rockwell

Born 3 February 1894 – Norman Rockwell, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “A Red Cross Man in the Making”; “The Problem We All Live With”; “Portrait of John F. Kennedy”; “The Runaway”; “Breaking Home Ties”; “Roadblock”; “Good Friends.”
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From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Jimi Hendrix

3 February 1967 – Jimi Hendrix records “Purple Haze.”

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A Second Poem for Today

“Lock and Key,”
By Rachel Sherwood

I hardly know where to look
anymore. Places have a
putrid familiarity
like the smell of my own sheets
or the close air of the kitchen —
fishbones on the drain
left in the ghastly order
of temporal things.

I have been sitting in this bar
for years now
the beer is stale, the wine off-color
the music is always the same,
old, sad songs that get older
no better than endless conversation
night after forgotten night
when all I or you can recall
is the dark, the traffic lights,
the bartender’s comments
about drunk women
in public places.

I would like to go home
finally, down the long streets
north and south crossed with small gold leaves;
I forget just where the hell
anything is. Locked out.

Below – Jennifer Cronin: “Cake.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Michael Zigmond

Painter Michael Zigmond (born 1962) has a B.F.A. degree from Bowling Green University.
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From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: Melanie

Born 3 February 1947 – Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk, known professionally as Melanie, an American singer-songwriter.

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“The Aunts,”
By Joyce Sutpen

I like it when they get together
and talk in voices that sound
like apple trees and grape vines,

and some of them wear hats
and go to Arizona in the winter,
and they all like to play cards.

They will always be the ones
who say “It is time to go now,”
even as we linger at the door,

or stand by the waiting cars, they
remember someone—an uncle we
never knew—and sigh, all

of them together, like wind
in the oak trees behind the farm
where they grew up—a place

I remember—especially
the hen house and the soft
clucking that filled the sunlit yard.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Sandra Jones Campbell

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of
American painter Sandra Jones Campbell: “(Her) depiction of social and political scenes reflect both her professional respect for the 30’s style German Expressionists Max Beckman, George Grosz and Otto Dix, and her uniquely gentle wit. Multiple figures populate lively acrylics on paper or canvas images that blend Sandra’s optimism and candor, along with the artist’s keen visual skill: balancing color, form composition, humor and subject matter.”
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